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chilling feelings Lessons life Nature Opinion personal psychological Self social society story thriller

A MOUSETRAP’S CHEESE

by:Anjali

TW: violence

“Imagine the one thing you wanted, being used as bait to lure you into peril. That’s what I feel when my freedom, like a cubical cheese, remains positioned at the center of this mousetrap. If you haven’t realized already, I am the mouse surrounded by the predator lurking in the darkness and the temptation of freedom.”

A loud bang from the kitchen draws my attention to the empty hallway. I set my reading glasses aside and proceed to reach out for the baseball bat. I knew I couldn’t escape him. I didn’t even want to try. I had to make sure that he wasn’t going to hurt me again. Purple bruises from yesterday littered my skin; Artistically, I could describe this as a hue of purple and blue with tints of black. 

With slow strides, thinking about the artistic representation and the uncanny philosophical approach to tackling problems coupled with contemplating my life, I reach the kitchen. I didn’t want to push open the door. In no way did I want to see him again. 

“I can see your ghostly worn-out figure. It’s not a sight I am blessed with, so why don’t you tell me why you are here and end both our miseries.”    

Well, oh crap. Maybe I should think of a more effective tactic next time. 

My hands are visibly quivering. The baseball bat falls with a thud. Why wouldn’t it? What you hear now is the silence before the storm. He was a stout short-tempered man. If I was to speak, I am sure I’d vilify him. I don’t have a death wish. Therefore, I remain mum, which you may have identified as my biggest mistake. 

He pushes aside the door and walks out with an angered expression. I had never been able to make out his face. I would like to know what my captor looks like; it’s a decent mystery. 

“The next time I ask something, I expect a reply,” his hold grew rigid on my hands. Another set of purple bruises? I must buy a new concealer. As his grasp grew tighter, I let out a small whimper. It was always a series of unexplainable events which led to him beating and hurling abuses. If only I could remove that mask and see who he was. It makes for a good death wish, right? 

“Tell me what you were supposed to do,” his voice louder and distinctly clearer made chills run through my spine. Petition to get him to drop it down a little? I find this very ironic. The same scene greets me every day and expects me to weep for help. I find this nothing short of a monotonous picturesque scenario. Right, where are we? I am supposed to be scared, but I’ll be honest. I am tired. I don’t feel anything. I should, but I can’t. A sharp tug of hair brings me back to reality. I was supposed to do the dishes, clean my room, make pasta and sweep the entire apartment. I chose silence again. You don’t have the right to mock me. When I spoke yesterday, the scene was comparatively violent. 

He drags me to the water basin. 

That’s a first. 

And before I could protest, my head is submerged in water. I am trying my best to overpower him. I fear water. I remember when I was seven and almost drowned. He knew that too, but this was punishment. Punishment for not responding. Punishment for solely existing. I can see air bubbles. Oh, I like bubbles. I remember this one time my mother brought me a bubble set with my favorite candy stick. I spent the evening in a park, blowing bubbles. How ironic, a fragment of my happy moment is possibly a sign of my demise. I remember falling when I ran to catch this bubble, and oh my, what a fall. It felt as if I couldn’t see, and my lungs were full. I couldn’t breathe, and it almost felt like I had run out of air. 

Dejavu? I suppose so. 

Struggling is futile. I had to remain calm. If this was my ticket to heaven, I am planning on embracing it with open arms. But this, my friends, is where I made a mistake again. At this point, let’s say that my life is a series of unfortunate events. If he wanted to kill me, I’d be at peace but, he wished for a fate worse than death. My lungs were on the verge of exploding when he pulled me out and pushed me on the concrete floor. 

I find it hard to mask any reactions. I don’t think I am scared. I need to get over with this. Hands clutch my neck, and for someone not over the near-drowning experience, a sharp pain arises in the pit of my stomach. Pools of black fill my vision, and just like that, I let the darkness take over.

I am rejoicing in this slow gruesome demise. It is a sad time to remember that I forgot to take my medicines today. The mousetrap writing remains unfinished like my story. The bed remains unmade, and the sunflower on the bed stand will wither soon. 

Fragments of my vision and consciousness find me. I remain on the floor, exhausted by the events which transpired. Supporting myself on the side drawer, I get up at a slow pace. Pain arises at the joints of my neck. Is it broken? Great, just like me. I looked around, praying that he wasn’t in sight and the mighty lord heard me for once. 

I’d be free at last. With a racing heart, I try to take a step forward. In disappointment, I falter. I crawl to my room, feeling the pain resonating through my leg. Moments passed by in a blur, and I reached my room with a smile of bliss at last. The bed frame supports me as I pack my belongings. I would be free at last. 

That’s what I feel when my freedom, like a cubical cheese, remains positioned at the center of this mousetrap,” His voice stops me dead on my track, “Don’t you pay heed to your own writings?” 

My attention shifts to the paper on my desk; I was writing about myself. The cheese was nothing but my freedom, and as a predator, he lurked in the darkness to swallow me whole. I had fallen into this trap; the bait was effective. I feel a blow on my already broken leg. An unimaginable amount of pain takes over. Was this my end? Slow crippling demise with a pinch of freedom, I’d never taste? 

“Didn’t you want to know what i looked like?” he asks as he drags me to the mirror. His hands choke my neck again as I try to breathe; my legs quake. Despite the immense pain, I nod my head. It would make an appreciable dying wish. 

“I don’t aspire to kill you,” he retorted. Had he heard what I said? 

” Precisely so. Death is too easy for you,” he lifts his mask with a hand. Not in a dramatic serial manner; it was too quick. All I see in the mirror was my reflection with my own hands on my neck. I fell for it again. He was not here; there was no one here. I hear the voice again before silence envelops me. 

” I am here. More accurately, I am you. I am the predator in your head , and the only way to break free, would be to lose yourself.Don’t you see, the freedom you crave is merely a bait.” 

I am beyond tired, tired of being sick. I rummage through a table drawer and swallow a handful of prescribed pills before I let sleep take over. 

                                                           ***************************

Delusion, hallucination, disorganized thinking, and abnormal motor behavior are common symptoms of Schizophrenia. Although the symptoms and their severity vary, the following are common traits in both men and women diagnosed with the illness. The following work is a fictional story of a schizophrenic patient and in no way is supposed to depict the plight of any patient diagnosed with the same. I am neither a psychologist nor a patient and, therefore, would like to apologize for any misinterpretation. 

Categories
Environment feelings Happiness life Nature

Up the hill and into the waterfall

By: Joshua

Right around Christmas, my family decided that we should go on vacation since it might be our last family vacation before I left for college(look how that turned out). My dad is from Mangalore and we all decided to stay at his cousins’ place in the village. So one fine evening we’re all just sitting around and talking and my cousin asks us if we wanted to see a waterfall and obviously, we said yes and decided to go the next morning.

The waterfall was around four kilometers up the hill and it wasn’t a normal hill. It was covered in tall trees and was part of a legit forest. So we took the car and began our journey. We could only go to the base of the hill in the car and had to continue on foot for the rest of our journey. As we made our way into the forest, I noticed the ground covered in stones that looked like they belonged at the edge of a river and the remains of what seemed like a small stream. The stream was probably gushing with water in the monsoon season.

Once we crossed the dried-up stream, we were greeted by tall trees that stood like firm guards at the entrance of the forest. The path was covered with the roots of those huge trees, penetrating the ground and trying to make their way towards the sky and huge rocks that wanted to twist my ankles(fortunately that didn’t happen). The path seemed like it was built by the forest itself but with a slight element of man. 

After about an hour and a half of careful walking(avoiding thorns, weird insects, and almost slipping and falling to my doom), we finally reached the waterfall. It was a magnificent sight to behold. Small droplets flying through the air and creating a rainbow that emerged from the bottom of the waterfall. So with a sigh of relief, I began to sit down but my cousin said that we still had to go higher up to actually find a proper place to sit and chill(the waterfall had like 4 or 5 different levels). So I got up, brushed the dust off my pants, and jumped from rock to rock to get across the first level(sounds like a video game). There was a narrow yet steep path on the side, which we all somehow managed to climb.

The view at the second level was even more breathtaking. You could almost see the entirety of the forest. The water pooled into a small area and there was another rock under the waterfall that made the perfect sitting spot(I had an amazing back massage there). The water was so cold even though the sun was scorching. So after fooling around in the water, my cousin asked me if I wanted to go up to the third level, and well off we were(the path was so steep and filled with mosquito-like insects, and at one point I felt like my legs would fall off). We(my cousin and I) reached the third level after around 10 minutes and there it was, a giant and deep pool, filled with such clean and clear water that you could actually drink from(which we did cause our bottles were empty by then).

I felt so much at peace that I didn’t want to go back home. The view was so beautiful and the air so fresh and fragrant(it had a subtle sweetness). For a moment I actually imagined how it would be like, living next to a waterfall. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s gonna be possible anytime soon(sigh), maybe when I die I’ll go up that hill and into the waterfall…

Categories
change Family feelings Friends life Love Nature personal Poem World

The Loved and The Lost

by:Sumana

The Loved 

Hunkering down with a lamp

I breathe in the book’s scent

Settling down to savor it in secrecy

Unbeknownst to any but the gentle breeze

That morphs into a wind

Turning still fields into raging seas.

Green pastures wink up at me

As I spot a weaver’s nest on a solitary walk.

Rain pelts down

The sun paints the sky red

As I enjoy a cake and the earthy scent.

Shadows creep up on the walls

Against a golden backdrop of light

As dinner’s held by candlelight,

While stories are told and images woven

Threads spun off imagination.

Sitting by the hearth

As tales are shared and songs sung

To be remembered in the morrow.

A calm morning with the sun in my face

A stormy night that harbings ghosts

Sleepy afternoons and silent nights

As voices echo in the dark

And into the light.

Faster and faster they spin

Melding together and yet not

All those memories I lived

All those mistakes I made

Naught but one came a-visiting

Nary friend, nary a cousin

But the clouds choke, the skies weep

And that’s enough for me…

For, I know not if I will live

To see a new dawn, a new day

As the world rises to greet a new year

I greet the darkness, this final rest.

The Lost

Distraught and despairing

I turn and reach out for a friendly warmth

Hoping, Groping, in the vast abyss

When dark talons pry open my mind, my heart.

Slumped against a black wall of hopelessness

As agony floods the plains

Eyes on the horizon, squinting

For a beacon of light and warmth.

I see none.

Nobody left, nobody cares

As I drown in this sorrowful sea.

I turn around and lunge

A desperate bid to break free

In vain, in vain, in vain

Again and again and again.

Darkness envelops me

Dare I embrace it back?

Mayhap it will be a friend

Now i am numb, so numb

I cannot feel my heart

The world spins, the bells chime

With not a care for her death.

The pain thaws my frozen heart

My grief spurs my blood

For only in her memory

Does my dead heart beat and ache.

Oh! This ungodly physical pain

I can’t breathe, i can’t think

I hold on to the hurt and pain 

For I know no other way.

Some wounds just don’t heal

Some are better off staying fresh

For “the soul is dead that slumbers”

And she wouldn’t ‘ve wanted that for mine.

I look into strange faces

But all I see is her

In every crowd, in every place

She just smiles and fades away.

I wake up everyday

To the truth that she’s gone

I break down again and again

I don’t know how to move on.

Categories
life Nature social Uncategorised

Yes, We Exist

Author: Nishkarsh

Hi, I’m Dipen from Dhubri. Dhubri? Assam? Still doesn’t ring a bell? Well, it’s okay. Not many people know about my town. Dhubri is a small town on the banks of river Brahmaputra in western Assam. The Brahmaputra defines our town. It is around ten kilometers wide here. We don’t have a bridge to cross it yet but there is one proposed, almost 19 kilometres long. It is going to be India’s longest bridge. On completion, you will know Dhubri, at least through a general knowledge question.

There is a bond between the Brahmaputra and me. The river has given me and my family everything in life. My father is a ferry driver and has spent his entire life working on the river. This is the bright side of life. Every year, during the rainy season, the dark side of life takes over and everything goes under water. This year, the pandemic made it worse. I’ve never witnessed a pandemic before but I have seen how deadly this river could be.

It was about two weeks back when the water started flooding the town. The houses were all filled with water. It was almost knee-high. I had water borne rashes all over my body; it was awful. Things went out of hand a few days back when it started raining heavily, and I mean really heavily. Overnight the water level crossed the waist-level. We could no longer live inside our home. My family and I were now sitting on the sloppy roof of our house. We didn’t eat anything that day and we had run out of drinking water as well. It was me who took the last few gulps. It was very painful up there but we had no other choice. There was a strange silence on the roof. The eyes spoke their own story but the lips were tight. My 8-year-old sister asked,“We never did anything bad, then why God is mad at us?” And the silence continued, no one speaking anything.

As the sun went down, so did our spirit. Then we heard the sound of motorboats piercing the silence. Finally the rescuers were here. Their orange vests read-“NDRF”. I don’t know what that means, but I am sure that’s the synonym for angels. And yes, God was not mad at us after all.

It’s been a couple of days now at the relief camp. My parents’ lifelong hardship, our house, and everything else is submerged under water; we don’t have anything left now. All I do is sit in front of relief camp’s TV in the hope of getting some news about our Assam, but all I see is politics in Rajasthan and Bollywood. I wish our lives also mattered too.

Are we all in this together? I thought we were.